• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"For what reasons can it be argued that the Second World War was "Total War"

Extracts from this document...


Ioulia Samouilovskaia. 26.09.05. "For what reasons can it be argued that the Second World War was a "Total War"?" Second World War was a horrifying event, which left an even deeper scarf in people's lives than the First World War. It brought far more damage and deaths than the previous war. However in order to answer whether the Second World War was a Total War, we first have to define what is Total War. Total War is the war that affects all of society- not just the armed forces, and that uses all the resources available to be able to win it. It's "the mobilization of the entire society and its resources for the war effort". In this essay several aspects will be investigated, which would help us answer the question. The first thing that comes to mind is the scale of war. It was tremendous. Almost every country participated in the Second World War. There were Europe, USA, USSR, Scandinavia, North Africa, Japan, China and Australia involved. And definitely there wasn't even one country in the whole world that didn't suffer from its effects. The war was fought on several fronts simultaneously, and thus the armies needed as many soldiers as possible. ...read more.


In Germany, Hamburg became the center of war production. And in the years between 1936-1939, 2/3 of all industrial investment went into war-related projects. In every country the factories turned to war production. Even the American industry changed to war production after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. In Russia, strict regimentations, harsh discipline, and long working hours were introduced. Every scrap of raw material and resources went into arms production and nothing else. Adults in the USSR received no food unless they worked in some way for the war effort. Soviet citizens survived on one-fifth of the wartime ration in Britain. In the years of 1942-1944, 2300 new factories were built. Some workers in the country had to move from one part of the country to another to be able to work in an industry. Every single thing in the country was being used. For transport there were mostly trains ("war by timetable") and also new technology was used to get food faster to the front. For example in Leningrad during the years of blockade, the food was delivered in the cars through the frozen lake, there was no other way, as the citizens were cut off from the whole world by the German troops, whose main aim was to starve people out of the city. ...read more.


This didn't take place just in one country; everyone who was involved in the war used propaganda etc. to help the people to deal with such horrible event and to keep their hopes up. And the last thing that I am going to talk about is the number of casualties, which just once again proves us that the Second World War was a Total War. This event saw casualties on an unprecedented scale. For example in World War One it is estimated that a total of 8,500,000 people were killed and 57,470,000 injured. This is already an enormous loss, however the casualties of World War Two were much more horrific! Altogether 55 million died, and more civilians than soldiers lost their lives for the first time, people died from starvation, atrocities and bombing. About 27 million deaths were of the Soviet people; they lost the most than any other country. There were also lots of refugees. Some cities and villages were totally destroyed, especially in Russia. To conclude, from all the examples and factors that are discussed above, I agree that the Second World War was the Total War. Each level of society and every country were affected. Never before was there a war that happened on such enormous scale and caused so much damage. The memories and the pain of this war will always stay in people's hearts. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Total War, Britain during the Second World War

    Reasons for rationing There were a number of reasons for the introduction of rationing. In the first place it was intended to ensure that Britain had an adequate supply of food. In 1939 Britain only produced about 45% of its food supply, the rest was imported.

  2. Korean propaganda during the Second World War and the Korean War had a different ...

    Propaganda on both sides did increase anti-opposition lootings and chaos. In contrast, the risen animosities of the divisions between the people of Korea were seemingly more serious and actions taken against each other were more damaging between the North and South.

  1. The Battle of Britain as a turning point in the Second World War.In the ...

    America was one of the richest countries in the world and had a huge supply of men and munitions. This meant that Hitler made one of the biggest mistakes ever in declaring war on America to please the Japanese because as soon as he did he ended any chance of Germany winning the war.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    was about 85,000 people. The war led to the flight of the population, but when the fighting subsided, a movement back to the camps began. According to estimates, in mid-September 1982 there were about 56,000 people in the Sabra and Shatila camps in total. Over the previous few months, as the number of I.D.F.

  1. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    The political decisions made by the United States from W.W.II onward caused the Cold War to start and to continue for decades. Moreover, the government's use of propaganda at home rallied the American public in an anticommunist attitude, which supported the countries political decisions.

  2. How important was the war at sea

    The conscription led to a huge shortage of workers in vital industries, so it was the women who took the jobs after men. At the beginning of the war, the women campaigning for the vote had called a truce, and many women had already been working in factories and as nurses in France etc.

  1. In what ways did World War I affect the lives of civilians in Britain ...

    The Central Purchasing Agency was established in Berlin to buy grain from neutral countries. In 1915, the Imperial Grain Office was created, as was the Imperial Potato Office. Also, by 1915, bread became rationed as was fats, sugar, meat, and potatoes - many of which ended up disappearing completely.

  2. Post-Cold War Realities

    They are?1) Arms, technological, and industrial trade; 2) Ethnic, territorial, and religious turmoil in the Caspian, Caucasus, and Central Asia regions (Central Asia, for short); 3) Oil and pipelines in the Caspian Sea region. ARMS, TECHNOLOGICAL, AND INDUSTRIAL TRADE The mutual economic interests that have defined the Russo-Iranian arms/technology trade relationship are fairly simple.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work